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Commissioners approve lower county tax rate

Mark Wilson
County Judge Danny Chambers

The Somervell County Commissioners Court unanimously voted in their Sept. 25 meeting to approve both a budget and a lower tax rate for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

By a 5-0 vote, the new rate was set at $0.499586 cents per $100 of property valuation, County Judge Danny Chambers said. That’s a reduction from the current fiscal year’s rate of $0.53750.

“I’m glad we were able to do this,” Chambers said, noting that tax values coming in from housing developments, commercial developments and property values have increased since last year.

The vote came almost a week before the deadline for completion of the county budget, which was Thursday, Oct. 1.

Chambers said there were no major obstacles during the budget workshop process this year, although one particular category is usually tougher than most.

“Employee packages are always the toughest,” said Chambers, who is the official spokesman for the county. “This year, nobody got any cost of living raise, except for the regular step and grade.”

Chambers explained that the step and grade process is merit-based, rather than on cost of living.

Last year’s budget did include raises for county employees. That factor contributed to the increase of almost 4 cents per $100 property valuation at that time, over the previous rate of $0.4892320 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.